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Kedarnath is the most popular abode of lord Shiva. It lies in the Garhwal Himalayan range near the holy river of Mandakini. It is perched at an elevation of 3584 metres above sea level. This shrine is the part of Chardhams which are most revered temple of India. Other three dhams are namely as Gangotri, Yamunotri and the most popular Badrinath. A trip to Kedarnath is invigorating experience as it offers breathtaking snow-clad peaks. This temple was basically established by the Pandavas but revived by the great Hindu philosopher Adi Shankaracharya, in the 8th century. It is the same place where all the Pandavas impressed lord Shiva with their penance.

There is also a popular mythological related to the origin of this place, as per this story, after the war of Mahabharata, all the five Pandavas was searching lord Shiva to beg mercy from him. After long time when Bhima saw lord Shiva, he turned into a bull and tried to escape. In order to stop that bull Bhima hit its hind part with his mace the injured bull then immersed in the earth and its body appeared in many different places. The hind part of the bull was appeared at Kedarnath from which a light flickered and lord Shiva appeared in his divine avatar and blessed all the five Pandavas and exempted them all from their sins of killing their own brothers. From then onwards, lord Shiva is worshipped there in the form of triangular shaped rock.

Other the main shrine of Kedarnath, devotees can also roam around some other religious sites like Gandhi sarovar, this small lake is also popular as Chorabari Tal as it is located in the Chorabari Bamak Glacier. This lake holds crystal clear water and impressed travellers from its invigorating views of the imposing Himalayan peaks; Phata, basically it is a small hamlet located on the way to Kedarnath. It is the place from where the helicopter service starts; Sonprayag, it is a place of religious significance where two holy rivers Basuki and Mandakini meet. It is believed that if a person takes a bath at this confluence he will attain ‘Moksh’. Other than this, Sonprayag also offers the mesmerising views of snow covered mountains and lush green Sonprayag Valley; Gaurikund, this place is dedicated to the spouse of lord Shiva, goddess Parvati. It is perched at an elevation of 1,982 metres above the sea level. According to the legends, this is the place where goddess did penance to win the heart of lord Shiva. There is also a temple devoted to the goddess. Many devotees visit this place to get the blessings of the deity; Shankaracharya Samadhi, Adi Shankaracharya was a Hindu philosopher and theologian. He was credited with main currents of thoughts in Hinduism. Besides this, devotees can also visit Triyugi Narayan, Bhairav Temple and Vasuki Tal.

Just like any other shrine of Chardhams, Kedarnath as well remains closed during winter and opens at auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritya i.e. between the months of April-May to Oct-Nov. During the closing time devotees can get the blessings of the deity in the temple of Ukhimath as the idol of the lord is shifted here in winter season.

The 14kms trek to Kedarnath starts from Gaurikund. It is well connected with the many known and unknown destinations of Uttarakahand and northern states of India. Delhi also offers several buses to Rishikesh, Defraud, Haridwar etc. Jolly Grant Airport is the nearest airbase while nearest railway is situated in Rishikesh. Both heads are widely connected with rest of the country and offer frequent services of buses and taxis to Gaurikund. For helicopter service, visitors have to reach Phata or Sirsi as these places houses Helipad.

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